When moving down across strings on descending 2nps Eric Johnson-style licks, I can’t seem to cleanly escape the strings, and so I end up tripping over the strings and not playing cleanly, and get caught in a speed-rut. See a couple of videos I took of myself recently, playing as fast as I can currently go:
Here’s the same footage as the previous link, but shot in 120fps, and slowed down by half:
For this next one, I don’t have slow-mo, but slowing the youtube playback speed allows you to see what’s going on fairly well:
As you can see, I’m not able to consistently clear the lower string on the upstroke, because my angle of escape is not large enough. This seems to get worse as I move downward onto lower strings. This doesn’t seem to be an issue for me, however, when moving up to higher strings when doing ascending 2nps licks, mostly only when moving down.
For some reason, I’m facing a major blocker trying to just will myself to pull the pick up more and escape the string on the upstroke… Maybe I’m not using the right set of muscles or something, IDK, but my default whenever I start getting faster in speed is to have the downstroke be pulled across the string, closer to being parallel to the guitar body, not being pulled more perpendicularly away from it. Troy demonstrates something more like the perpendicular motion here:
Troy is clearly pulling away from the guitar body on his downstrokes, but I can’t seem to get that to happen for me. Does anyone have any advice as to how to overcome this problem?
Possibly part of the issue is that I’m anchoring my elbow to the guitar body? When I move towards the lower strings, I feel less able to maintain the same pick attack,. Should I be moving my elbow out as I’m moving down the strings to try to maintain the same angle?
Another factor is that when I do force myself to try to pull the pick away perpendicular from the guitar more on the upstroke, the pick feels like it’s getting caught up on the string, resulting in a tripped-up and definitely not fluid-motion feeling. Do I need to hold the pick differently, at an angle, or edge-pick more?